After an online petition in May 2018 that attracted a million signatures, more than 300,000 persons gathered on November 17 all over France to protest against increases in fuel prices. Since then, the Yellow Vests movement has been shaking the French political system, demanding the resignation of president Macron. But what is it exactly? A new take on medieval tax revolts (jacqueries), the French revolution, Poujadism, or something else? Who are the Yellow Vests? People who drive, pensioners, workers, the unemployed? Are they manipulated by Marine Le Pen’s extreme right? Or forces from the east? Niilo Kauppi will try to offer in this preliminary sociological and political analysis answers to these questions.
A political sociologist, Niilo Kauppi is research director at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). He teaches at Sciences Po Strasbourg and the universities of Lausanne and Luxembourg.
Co-sponsored by the Association Francophone de Boston University.